Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Continues to Support Transparent and Accountable Leadership at the CFPB
Posted December 06, 2017 by Chandler Schuette

Last week CUNA sent Interim CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney a letter outlining changes credit unions would like to see at the CFPB moving forward. As the CFPB leadership litigation disputes continue, CUNA believes that it is important for credit unions to have certainty in the financial services marketplace. Accordingly, we do not support the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union recent petition to remove Director Mulvaney from office. 

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the day of his resignation, then-Director Cordray selected his Chief of Staff, Leandra English, to be Deputy Director of the Bureau.  Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Deputy Director serves as Acting Director when the Director is “absent or unavailable.” Prior to the day of Cordray's resignation, David Silberman served as the Acting Deputy Director for nearly two years.  

Later that same evening, President Trump named Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, interim Director using authority granted to the president by the Vacancies Reform Act.  On Sunday, November 26, English then filed suit against the Administration and Mulvaney for a restraining Order to block Mulvaney’s designation as Acting Director. The Order was denied on Tuesday, November 28. English is now seeking a preliminary injunction against Mulvaney. 

The uncertainty surrounding the leadership of the Bureau has potential to impact credit unions as a result of the lack of clarity about pending rules and those finalized, which have not yet had an effective date. Furthermore, the largest credit unions subject to CFPB supervision could be impacted as the status of examinations and exam requirements hang in flux. Additionally, since the CFPB Director sits on the board of FSOC, the uncertainty surrounding leadership of it could have a global impact on the financial services marketplace.  

It is important to have a process in place, which assures leadership of the CFPB has been vetted through the Congressional nomination approval process. We disagree that a non-accountable individual leaving office has Presidential appointment powers with no checks and balances in place. Credit unions need transparency in understanding the views and background of the person leading the CFPB, particularly because of its single director structure with no accountability to Congress.  

As an overarching matter, we believe the confusion about who the director is further validates the need for a multi-member commission. However, until that time, at the very least there must be both accountability and transparency in the process for selecting a CFPB director.